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  • December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM
    December 31, 1969
    7:00 PM

Xaviera Simmons

Born in New York, NY, 1974
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Xaviera Simmons

In addition to creating dazzling photographs and gripping sculptures, Xaviera Simmons also makes critically acclaimed installations. These often investigate music, particularly cherished LP artwork. In 2006, she created How to Break Your Own Heart, stapling classic jazz albums covers on the walls of New York City’s Art in General gallery, where she frequently deejays.  “I constructed this installation as a site of sensorial intervention in a heavily trafficked landscape,” she explained to the New York Foundation for the Arts. “My intentions were also to create a space that was immediately educational to the passerby, a space that engages as well as surprises.”

The following year, she reprised the concept at Houston’s Contemporary Art Museum with the installation, Electric Relaxation: Digital Good Times, which included R&B and hip-hop album covers along with archival video footage.

Watch the video excerpt in which Xaviera Simmons talks about how music influenced some of her work for Duke University’s 2010 exhibition, The Record at the Nasher Museum of Art.




Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY
Maggie Flanigan Studio, 2-Year Actor Training Conservatory, NY, NY

2004                BFA, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY



2012                  Wolf, The Kitchen, New York, NY

Salt 4, Utah Museum Of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT
Studio! Studio! (Chelsea), More Art, New York, NY
Wilderness, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY
Exhibition A,, New York, NY


(Harvest): Any Number of Myths and Stories, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL
Junctures (Transmissions To), The Goethe-Institute/The Studio Museum In Harlem, New York, NY
Limited Edition, Art In General, New York, NY

 2009                 Performance: Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Oscillation: For A Minute There, I Lost Myself, The Museum Of Art And Design, NY, NY
 2008                 The Tunnel Room, John Connelly Presents, NY, NY
Perspectives 157, Electric Relaxation: Digital Good Time, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX
 2007                 The Hustle Never Stops In Lagos (et al), The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA

How To Break Your Own Heart, Art In General, New York, NY
Landscape: Expanded Engagement, Extended Space, Jamaica Center For Arts And Learning, Jamaica, NY






Artist In Residence, The Studio Museum In Harlem, New York, NY
Where Do We Migrate To, The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at the New School, New York, NY
The Record
, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
Where Do We Migrate To, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, LA
Radical Presence, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX
The Record, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA


30 Americans, Corcoran Gallery Of Art, Washington, DC
Becoming: Photographs from The Wedge Collection, Nasher Museum Of Art At Duke University, Durham, NC
After Destiny The Contemporary American Landscape, Flanders Art Gallery, Raleigh, NC
Sum of the Parts, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL
Oceanomania: Souvenirs from a Mysterious Sea, Nouveau Musee National de Monaco, Monaco
The Record, ICA Boston, Boston, MA
Flux This! With Pope L. and Special Guests, Museum of Modern Art, NY
30 Americans,
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
Building the Contemporary Collection: Five Years of Acquisitions, The Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, NC
Hydrarchy: Power and Resistance at Sea, Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo, Egypt
Stargazers: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists
, The Bronx Museum Of Art, Bronx, NY
Why Do We Migrate, The Center For Art, Design and Visual Culture, Baltimore, MD
February Show, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, NY
Stephen Burkes: Are You A Hybrid, The Museum Of Art and Design, New York, NY
The February Show, Ogilvy and Mather, New York, NY


Greater New York, PS.1, New York, NY
BITE, Thirdstreaming, New York, NY
The Record, The Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, NC
Compass NY, Avant Guide To NY, Apext Art and The Storefront For Art and Architecture, New York, NY
Open Score Variations, Hessel Museum Of Art and CCS Galleries, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY
Group Show, Clifford Chance US LLP, New York, NY
The Reach of Realism, MoCA, North Miami, FL
30 Seconds Off An Inch, The Studio Museum In Harlem, NY


Foto Festival, Images Recalled, Curated by Tobias Berger, Heidelberg, Germany
In Practice, The Sculpture Center, New York, NY
Incheon Women’s Artist Biennial, Incheon, Korea
“Wrong” Eighth Veil Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Signs Taken For Wonder, Curated by Isolde Breielmaier, Jack Shainman Gallery, NY, NY
Convention, MoCA, North Miami, FL
Negritude, Exit Art, NY, NY
We The People, Context Gallery, Derry, Ireland


30 Americans, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida
T.error, Your Fear Is An External Object, Kunsthalle, Budapest-Menu Point, Budapest, Hungary
Untitled, John Connelly Presents, NY, NY
Facing Race: Four African-American Artists Speak Out, Museum Of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
Street Art, Street Life, The Bronx Museum Of Art, Bronx, NY
Richard Wright at 100, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN
Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX
Whitney Art Party, The Whitney Museum Of Art, NY, NY
Re-Imagine Kenya, Sikkema Jenkins &Co, NY, NY
Mixtape, Exit Art, NY, NY
Show One, Kate Werble Gallery, NY, NY
Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA


The FM Ferry Experiment, (programmed by NeuroTransmitter), Staten Island Ferry, NY, NY
Interpreting Utopia, Samuel Dorsky Museum Of Art, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY
A New Era Americana, (Corona Plaza) The Queens Museum, Queens, NY
The Postmillennial Black Madonna, MOCADA, New York, NY
Shaken Not Deterred, Curated By Brian Keith Jackson, NY, NY
"A Jamaica Queens Thing,", The Jamaica Center For Arts And Learning,NY, NY
Open Studio, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY


Black Alphabet (Contexts In Contemporary African American Art), Zacheta National Gallery Of Art, Warsaw, Poland
Peekskil Project, Hudson Valley Center For Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
E7, Aljira Center for Art, Newark, NJ
Harlem Art Project, Saatchi and Saatchi, New York, Curators Choice, Scope Art Fair, curated by Franklin Sirmans, NY
Performance Art Fair, curated by Dean Dedirko
First Open, Christies, New York, NY
When Artists Say We, Artist Space, New York, NY
This Strangest Of Theatres, Roebling Hall, New York, NY
Artificial Afrika, Gigantic Art Space, New York, NY
From The Living Room, curated by Franklin Sirmans, Art Basel, Miami


Frequency, The Studio Museum In Harlem, New York, NY
Relics and Remnants, Jamaica Center For Arts and Learning
Video Show, Takt Kuntsprojectraum, Berlin, Germany
The Politics Of Care, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY
Whitney Museum ISP Open Studio, New York, NY
African Queen, The Studio Museum In Harlem, New York, NY
Shorts Of The Self, Art In General, New York, NY


Harlem Postcards, The Studio Museum In Harlem, New York, NY
re source, Art In General, New York, NY




2011-2012       Artist in Residence, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

The Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL
Residency, Center For Contemporary Art (Futura), Prague


Emergency Grant, Foundation For Contemporary Arts, New York, NY
Art Matters Fellowship, Art Matters, NY, NY


The David C. Driskell Prize, The High Museum Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Artist In Residence, Light Work, Syracuse New York
In The Public Realm, The Public Art Fund, NY, NY
Artist In Residence, Art Omi, Ghent, NY
Urban Artist Initiative, UAI, NY, NY


The New York Community Trust Fellowship
Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant
Workspace Residency, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council


Artist-In-Residence, The Center For Photography At Woodstock
New Commissions, Art In General, New York, NY


Acadia Summer Art Program (Kippy Kamp), Acadia, ME
Artist In Residence, Jamaica Center For Arts and Learning, Jamaica, NY
Creative Capital/Aljira: Emerge 7, Newark, NJ
VKP Artist/Educator, The New Museum Of Contemporary Art, New York, NY

 2002                Cave Canem Poets Fellow, New York, NY



Mahoney, J.W. “Where Do We Migrate To,” Artpulse Magazine.Com, 2011

White, Amy, “New American Landscapes”, August 10, 2011

Suarez De Jesus, Carlos, "David Castillo, One of Only Two Galleries Selected for Art Basel Miami Beach 2011," Miami New Times, August 24, 2011.
Warren, Tamara, "Back to the Land" Life + Times Magazine, August 12, 2011.
Tschida, Anne, "In 'Sum:' recreating the created image," Knight Arts, June 03, 2011.

McGee, Celia, “First an Outcast, Then an Inspiration,” New York Times, April 21, 2011.

Cotter, Holland, “STARGAZERS: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists,” New York Times, April 14, 2011.

“Studio Tracks”, Art, April, 19, 2011

Duray, Dan, “In Flux Art, Naked Meets Nonsense Meets Lard,” The New York Observer, March 29, 2011.

“Black History Month 2011: Bronx Museum Celebrates 50 Years of Black Power, Beauty,” NY1, aired February 21, 2011.

Corwin, Will, “Xaviera Simmons,” Art International Radio, originally aired January 1, 2011.

“Hot Shots,” Modern Painters, November 2010.

“Ten Female Artists You Should Know,” Essence Magazine, 2010.

De Jesus Suarez, Carlos, Miami New Times, February 2, 2010.

Smith, Roberta, “A Beating Heart Of Social Import,” New York Times, December 09, 2009.

Cotter, Holland, “Negritude,” The New York Times, July 2, 2009.

Penndleton, Adam, “Artist On Artist,” Bomb Magazine, 2009.

How To Break Your Own Heart, Exhibition Catalog, Art In General, NY, 2008.

Perspectives 157: Xaviera Simmons, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX, 2007.

Schwyzer, Elizabeth, "Challenging Aesthetics" The Santa Barbara Independent, April 8, 2007.

Genocchio, Benjamin, “Down By The River” The New York Times, October 1, 2006

Genochio, Benjamin, “E7: Emerge at Aljra,” The New York Times, September 15, 2006

Simmons, Xaviera “Notes On How To Break Your Own Heart” NYFA Current,

April 2006.

Valdez, Sarah, “Bling and Beyond,” Art in America, April 2006.

Curators Choice, Scope Art Fair Catalog, 2006.

Garcia, Miki, “Xaviera Simmons,” Frequency catalogue, The Studio Museum In Harlem, 2006.

Kastner, Jeffery, “Frequency” ArtForum International, January 2006

Smith, Roberta. “Where Issues Of Black Identity Meet The Concerns of Every Artist,” The New York Times, November 18, 2005.

Blackside Productions, This Far By Faith, PBS Documentary of a Two-year walking pilgrimage retracing the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, 2004.




Deutsche Bank
The High Museum Of Art, Atlanta
The Nasher Museum Of Art, Duke University
The Rubell Family Collection
The Studio Museum In Harlem
The Agnes Gund Art Collection



30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. The presenting sponsor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is Altria Group.

Additional support has been provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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